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Curly Nikki

What is a Bad Hair Day?

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

What is a Bad Hair Day?

How we Talk About Our Own Hair

Rebellious, unmanageable, nappy, untamed, unkempt.
These are just some of the words I hear people use to describe their own hair, and it’s usually not meant to be positive. This is what makes us look for so-called “miracle products” for our hair. I’m even talking about those of us who wear our hair naturally; I still don’t think we have gotten rid of negative thinking about our hair. Some of us are wearing it out and proud but still talk about certain sections of our hair being “too unruly.” I know some gave up relaxers and frequent flat iron use (me) because we were tired of fighting with our curls and coils. But then why are we still trying all these products and techniques in attempts to “fight” with our hair even more?

Don’t get me wrong, I like playing in my hair on days when I’m not being lazy. I like finding out what it can do. But I stopped thinking about my hair as these unruly fibers sprouting from my head. Suddenly styling became easier and so did my product searches. I am NOT searching for a product to solve all of my hair problems because quite frankly, my hair isn’t problematic. Having curls and coils isn’t a disorder that needs to be “taken care of” or handled. Even though I have different patterns all over my head and it’s in layers and I easily get single strand knots, I still don’t think these are issues, but things about my hair I have to work with. Do you note the difference in wording? I said I had to work with my hair, not manage or tame it.

Obviously, the issue with naturally curly hair (particularly the afro-grade) is that information isn’t mainstream enough for people to understand how their hair works. And let’s face it, most products we love market themselves in ways to promise us to deal with these “problems.” Look at the description of some (even ones that I have) that talk about using the product to have beautiful or manageable or better hair. If we want to fully accept our hair, I say that we stop using words (unconsciously) that make it so negative.

Weigh in!


  • Patricia Ellis says:

    I have been natural for 10 years, and am still finding out what works and what doesn't work on my hair. I have put my hair through so much the last 5 years; braids and weaves mostly. No more weaves and braids because my hair was thinning out.
    Now that I only wear my own hair, figuring out how to wear it without getting bored has become a major challenge. I wet and go in the summer because of the heat and humidity. Once it gets too cold to do that, I am at a loss as what to do with my hair.
    Products that promise to do miracles with curly/course hair, I stay away from because past products that promised miracles, we usually a waste of money.

  • Rhapsody in PURPLE! says:

    I dont EVER have bad hairdays.

    I have days where a style didnt work out, but i flipped that around to create the most ADORABLE bun eva.

  • Arianna says:

    "I don't have bad hair days. I have good hair days and BETTER hair days" this is GREAT

    and I said this a lot to stop me from buying products when I was on my search for the most beautiful hair
    "I said I had to work with my hair, not manage or tame it."
    I really love your forums exactly for this post! your views on curly hair are reflective!
    I know its common to try lots of products on the curls but that was the last thing on my mind because i was SO TIRED of spending so much time trying to it straight from the get go! curly hair comes natural to me and thats how its gonna be NATURAL
    Sleep.Sun.Water.Oil.Wash.Food.Deep condition. that was basically my hair styling list
    and ya i had good hair days and better ones 🙂
    I made SURE though on good hair days that, if i was unsatisfied…I would LET IT GO
    i've maintained same hair list too. except i have more oils like heavier ones and lighter ones depending on days, aaaand i deep condition with lots more diff foods, honey,mayo,avocado the list will continue….

  • LBell says:

    This deserves to be repeated:

    "Having curls and coils isn't a disorder that needs to be "taken care of" or handled. Even though I have different patterns all over my head and it's in layers and I easily get single strand knots, I still don't think these are issues, but things about my hair I have to work with. Do you note the difference in wording? I said I had to work with my hair, not manage or tame it."

    THANK YOU for this. It's one of the saddest parts of black culture that too many of us seem to bond over this supposed "tragedy" that is natural Afro-textured hair. I have no patience for ignorance anymore, no matter how deeply cloaked it is in "tradition."

    I don't have bad hair days. I have good hair days and BETTER hair days.

  • Anonymous says:

    When I didn't understand the needs of my hair, I had bad hair days due to lack of moisture and porosity issues. Learning how to address the needs of my hair changed everything.

  • ChiCityKitty says:

    Last week, I did not have a bad hair day, but a bad hair week. I wear my hair in twists 6 days in a row, then on the last day, I wash and retwist. Well, not sure what happened but my twists looked busted by Day 2. I work out, so usually they get a little fuzzy by Day 5, but I was so upset. All week, no matter what I did, they looked bad. Retwisting, spritzing with water, applying a light oil… nothing made my hair happy.

    On wash day, I was expecting a hot mess. I had applied so much product and over manipulated my hair, I just knew that the shedding was going to be ridiculous. I held my breath as I untwisted. To my surprise, my hair was so soft and happy. My new hair regime (henna, henna gloss, and pre-poo Vatika hair oil treatments) are paying off. The mysterious fuzzies are a result of new hair sprouting like crazy.

    I learnt a lesson last week. I pay attention to what my hair is telling me. Sometimes it wants extra attention. Other times, it just wants to be left alone. After being natural for over ten years, I am finally listening and I love what I am hearing and seeing.

  • modest-goddess says:

    someone I know just said their child had a bad grade of hair

  • luvmylocs says:

    good points. i don't really use negative speech about my hair except i do say nappy but as you mentioned nappy is typically negative. i will continue to work on my speech about my hair and my skin. this is actually related to a book i'm reading called creative visualization. i need to really affirm how beautiful my natural hair is.

  • Nita says:

    Im sooo happy for you.. I wish you and your family the best….Nita

  • Kellistarr says:

    I definitely want to spread positivity, especially since I get so many request about my hair from women who want to be in the "know." I will check myself about the adjectives that I use for my hair because it doesn't have to be "handled, controlled or tamed." My hair is very much a beautiful extension of myself.

  • koko says:

    WOW seriously!!! you are so right changing the mind will overcome the thoughts and feelings about what God has blessed us with!!!! dont need a curling iron God numbered each hair and coiled it himself!!! WOW our hair dresser is God!!!! can we say thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    OK…ROTL LMBO at that poor cat! Whew…ok, I think all products are aimed to take care of some "problem" so I don't take it as a personal affront to kinky hair – just a way to make money. Companies are finally getting with the program and gearing products towards our needs because they know we spend money.

  • musicurl says:

    Great points. I've used "bad hair day" to describe when I didn't know how to work with my hair on a given day and ended up with a look or feel I didn't want. This happened a lot early on in my transition stage (which for me was around 1994 when there was way less information). Still, I know (and make a point of saying) it was my lack of knowledge not my hair that was the problem. But you're right, it is negative hair thinking and we need to be keenly aware of the impact.

    I also get annoyed with the "miracle products" and their advertising. I even try to avoid products with the words "miracle," "magic," "super," "extra," etc and find something else (my own personal boycott). Why do we need a miracle or magic when we could simply have products that work well with our hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Everyone has moments or even days when they feel unhappy or insecure about a certain part of their body, whether it be hair or something else. Its human, its normal, it happens to EVERYONE. As long as you don't let your flaws or "bad hair/skin/clothes" days interfere with living your life and your overall happiness then it really should not be a big deal. Honestly I think it's just natures way of humbling us as humans and reminding us we aren't perfect!

  • Tiko says:

    I agree, we have to keep it positive. And, honestly, I'm a bit tired of having this same discussion over and over again. I'm tired of us complaining about the fact that we complain sometimes. I'm tired of us making a judgement about how we should feel about our hair. I think that blogs such as this one are a testament to the fact that we do love our hair and are embracing it. So, I'd like us to just focus on that, and stop giving energy to the complaining.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very good point! We have to keep it positive. ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    I am going off topic here, I agree with what your saying I am very careful of the words I use with myself and other people, but Congratulations on your beautiful baby! It makes me feel good that you will raise your daughter to have a healthy self-esteem about herself. We as people need to stop this cycle of unconscious and even conscious hatred it seems like it is stopping with you and your husband. I plan to raise my children the same way. Our children are going to need as much love and guidnace from us that they can get.

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